Do surgical masks prevent flu

“Yes, a surgical mask can help prevent the flu,” Sherif Mossad, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. “Flu is carried in air droplets, so a mask would mechanically prevent the flu virus from reaching other people.”

What are surgical masks for influenza?

For health care workers caring for people with influenza, surgical-type masks may help block respiratory droplets carrying influenza germs and transmission of germs from the hands to the mouth.

Can a surgical mask prevent the spread of the flu?

One systematic review of 17 studies published in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses found that mask use alone wasn’t enough to prevent the spread of the flu. However, the use of surgical masks was successful when paired with other flu prevention methods, such as good hand hygiene.

What is the best face mask to prevent flu?

They may look silly but a new study finds surgical masks are your best protection against a cold or the flu. Donning a face mask — either a surgical mask or a P2/N95 respirator mask (high particulate filter mask) — boosts protection from severe respiratory illnesses such as influenza and SARS,…

How effective are surgical masks?

The study, published in JAMA, found that surgical masks were as effective as N95 respirators at preventing the flu, which is to say, not all that effective because, of the 446 nurses who took part in this study, nearly one in four (24%) in the surgical mask group still got the flu as did 23% of those who wore the N95 respirator.

What are flu masks used for?

Many countries are stockpiling face masks for use as nonpharmaceutical interventions to reduce viral transmission during an influenza pandemic. We conducted a prospective cluster-randomized trial comparing surgical masks, non–fit-tested P2 masks, and no masks in prevention of influenza-like illness (ILI) in households.

Can surgical masks prevent the flu?

Surgical masks to prevent the flu can be found in major drugstores and online, and yours doesn’t need to be fancy to help. “A simple disposable mask is fine, just be sure the packaging notes that it protects against airborne particles,” Susan Besser, MD, a family medicine doctor with Mercy Personal Physicians at Overlea in Baltimore,

How effective are surgical masks?

The study, published in JAMA, found that surgical masks were as effective as N95 respirators at preventing the flu, which is to say, not all that effective because, of the 446 nurses who took part in this study, nearly one in four (24%) in the surgical mask group still got the flu as did 23% of those who wore the N95 respirator.

What is a surgical respirator?

A surgical mask or fit-tested respirator should be worn by healthcare personnel who are within 6 feet of a suspected or laboratory-confirmed influenza patient. A respirator can be selected when antiviral medication supplies are expected to be limited and influenza vaccine is not available, e.g., during a pandemic.